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Whether you were married, or you have decided to separate from your children’s parent, one of the most important aspects for many individuals when leaving an abusive relationship is protecting their children from harm. In fact, it’s common for people to even choose to leave their partners in order to care for their children’s welfare. However, separating from an abusive partner as well as keeping your child safe can be difficult, and this article aims to help you to do this more easily. 

What harm can abusive relationships have on children?

Children can experience domestic abuse by hearing their parents argue, see your injuries, and they may even sustain injuries themselves. Abusive relationships, as well as divorce, can have long-term effects on the welfare of your children, with many children repeating the negative relationships that they perceived when watching their parents. Children are also more prone to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression when they have been exposed to violence in the home, so it is important that you are able to take them away from the negative environment that they are living within. 

How can you get custody of your children? 

The best step that you can take to protect your children from abusive relationships is to consider a divorce. Although you might think it best to maintain your family unit, divorce will enable your child to be free from any damaging effects. You should file for a divorce and a domestic abuse complaint in order to get the assets that you deserve. Doing so may also stop the other parent from visiting your child unsupervised.

However, you should be aware that cases of child abduction are more common in those that have experienced domestic violence or child abuse in the home, especially if your partner has threatened to take the child before or have failed to co-operate during the divorce. Child abduction relates to international family law and involves the unlawful taking of a child to a different country without the consent of the other parent. These cases usually happen during or after a divorce or separation and are conducted by the party who was unable to gain custody. In order to protect your child from this, you should immediately employ an international family lawyer to help you to get your child back and to protect your child from any abuse that may occur from the other party while they are out of the country.

What can the police do to protect your child? 

If you are in an abusive relationship, the police may refer you to social services, who can decide to take your child into care if you are unable to leave the abusive relationship or if you have not reported the abuser to the police. Social services may send you a letter, call you, or visit your property before this. The police can also arrest abusers if you report them, and they put orders in place to determine where the child lives and who they are allowed to see. You can also help your child yourself by getting protection orders, asking for help from specialist organisations and charities, speaking to the police and social workers, and finding legal advice.